I DID IT!!!!!
When I signed up for Walk Your A.S. Off three years ago I could barely walk around the block. Shoot going to the mailbox was tough some days. I moved though and I kept moving no matter how tiny the step because it was always one more step towards where I wanted to be. The first year I may have done a few hundred steps a day if I was lucky. It was a starting point though. The second year I was determined to hit one million steps. I nearly fell short but pulled it out in the end thanks to encouragement from my team.
I was given several new medical issues before this years walk began and I wasn’t sure I could even participate. In fact my doctors were opposed to it. It seems seizures and brain lesions come with added risk for injury. Who’d a thunk it? lol
Then a few months prior I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to move! I wanted to continue what I started when I was diagnosed. Making this body as strong as I can to help me handle all Ankylosing Spondylitis will throw at me.
So I began getting ready. Slowly increasing my routine back to where I once was. Then I started adding to it and day by day I got to where I wanted to be. I hurt so bad some days I just didn’t want to stand up but it got better each time I dragged myself to that mat. You see the doctors have to tell me to be extremely cautious they have to warn of the worst possible outcomes but when I tell them what I’m doing they are thrilled! I think of it like the warnings for side effects from medication. They are warning me just like that nine mile pamphlet attached to my pill bottle. I don’t stop taking the pills, why should I stop exercising?
Now when I started this challenge I said I wanted to take my routine to the next level and oh I have! I started with Pilates when I was first diagnosed. Then added Yoga a few years later. Then hiking and cycling. Now thanks to this walk I’m way outside my comfort zone doing cardio and weights, I even started the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It’s truly amazing what this old body can do!
It’s not been easy though and along the way I was handed yet another diagnosis, Thoracic Outlet Obstruction. Turns out the fusion in my cervical and thoracic spine are upsetting things. It held me down for a week or two but slowly I regained mobility of my left arm. The shoulder pain still comes and goes and the docs say it may be a chronic issue with my health risks but I’m moving still. The routine I’m doing is helping it actually. I also sprained my ankle twice, not bad but enough to feel it was quite angry with me. My seizures intensified thanks to my body adapting to the medication and my stress level went soaring thanks to work. All this of course lead to a flare.
Meditation to the rescue!
I took a few days to let everything calm and then I went back to work. I was so far behind I wasn’t sure I could make it. Those wonderful weekend warrior challenges I hosted were a huge help! They kept me accountable and moving when all I wanted to do was stay in bed. It was invigorating seeing those I love coming out showing support week after week. Every weekend was like a boost up this massive mountain I’d set in front of myself. So even when I didn’t feel like climbing out of that bed and heading out that door I did!
I hit two million steps and then some AND lost twenty pounds in the process !
The best part though is that I’ve developed a new habit. I’m not going to stop because the walk is over. It’s helped me push myself and I don’t want to give up all I’ve gained. So I’m going to keep going. Keep pushing myself and we’ll just see how far I can go next year!